The Nano Foundation takes a step forward on its open-source journey
Since 2018 The Nano Foundation has executed on its mission to build the most efficient digital currency possible. 8 months ago The Nano Foundation moved to a completely volunteer-led operating model and released our most successful releases to date. This article will bring you along on our journey so far, what has led us towards this change in operating model, and our vision for the future.
In the ever-evolving digital landscape, nano stands out with a vision that is both unique and transformative: to establish a fee-free & sustainable currency that makes digital payments accessible to everyone, everywhere.
Nano is currently the most efficient form of fully distributed digital money with zero network fees, confirmed settlements in 0.4s on average, while the whole network is using the same energy output as a single wind turbine.
A Dual-Pillared Mission
The Nano Foundation has always been driven by two paramount objectives:
Protocol Excellence: Ensuring the continuous development and improvement of a protocol that guarantees secure and efficient fund transfers.
Global Adoption: Promoting nano's widespread acceptance and bolstering community growth via educational endeavours, a robust online presence, talks, and more.
The Nano Foundation believes that nano is the closest to the digital money vision through its fundamentals, moreso than any other in the space.
Today, we're here to shed light on the remarkable journey we've undertaken and to share exciting insights into our road ahead.
Why we have changed our operating model:
Despite this move always being in the Nano Foundation’s path, it has come a little sooner than wanted. For some time the Nano Foundation was funded through building services for Trustable based on nano’s technology though this endeavour encountered regulatory setbacks. However, instead of succumbing to these challenges, we swiftly adapted. Over the past 8 months, we've embraced a volunteering mode, a clear testament to the resilience and passion of our team.
Our decision to transition into volunteer-mode back in March this year as a team underscores the essence of decentralisation and open-source principles within the community. Embracing this shift is crucial for the next phase of the nano ecosystem, with the Nano Foundation cementing that we are just one part of the nano ecosystem, not the nano ecosystem itself.
Why speak now?
We wanted to showcase that a dedicated team, even if small, can sustain and thrive in such a model. Today, we're reaching out because we believe in the power of collective effort. While we can continue our current trajectory, inviting the community's involvement can exponentially amplify our impact.
During these 8 months, the following has been achieved by our team of volunteers across different disciplines:
This version update focused on improving performance and stability of the nano network, forming the first half of a 2-prong release with V25. V24 contained a multitude of advancements including Unit test stability & clarity along with three major changes designed to improve bootstrap reliability. You can read about V24 Siglos in further detail here >
V25 Daric completed the 2-prong release and included several enhancements that improved the performance and reliability of the nano network. Not only did these changes improve testing, modularity and maintainability of the node codebase but also allows for easier merging of future updates. This release included Ascending Bootstrapper, Optimistic Elections, speeding up the cementing process while introducing a new type of election scheduler, the optimistic scheduler, that operates alongside the default election scheduler. Not only this, other features included in this release were Continuous Backlog Population, Node handshake upgrade and an overhaul of the network’s testing infrastructure enabling faster development & facilitating proactive tweaking. Want to have a deeper dive into V25? Read here >
Subject to change, current V26 plans include: splitting the block table, improving election scheduler bucket bounding, and refactoring of the block processing pipeline. These changes will improve the network’s flow control and response under heavy load.
Adoption: Integrations, merchants
- The Rise of Nano in Nigeria: How Small Merchants are Embracing the Future of Payments
- How Diva’s Kitchen used nano to feed over 300 homeless people in Nigeria
- Nano lights up FreeMoney Day with 27,000 transactions
Alliances & Media
- One Nano Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind: 4 Essential Things for Digital Money Adoption by Nano and NOWPayments
- CryptoWallet Twitter Space about spending nano with Social Media Lead Forest Horsman
Why does this matter?
What we are trying to highlight is that having moved to a volunteer model internally over 8 months ago, great progress has been made while not diluting our core principles of how we work and why we do what we do. In addition to keeping up our passionate work to further nano in the world, we believe that this model will also have the following benefits long term:
Sustainable Development: In a decentralised ecosystem, relying on a single centralised entity for funding and development can pose a risk to the project's long-term sustainability. By moving into volunteer-mode, we are trying to ensure that nano development and adoption can continue to thrive, irrespective of changes in funding or leadership. The network has been designed to allow decisions to be made by you, the community, through representative voting. This does not change.
Community Empowerment: Shifting towards a volunteer-based model empowers the broader nano community to take a more active role in the protocol development and maintenance. This not only fosters a sense of ownership but also encourages innovation from diverse perspectives.
Resilience: Decentralised systems are inherently robust and resistant to single points of failure. With a decentralised team of volunteers, nano becomes less vulnerable to disruptions or external pressures, ensuring its resilience in the face of challenges.
Alignment with Principles: It aligns with the core principles of decentralisation and open-source philosophy. Where transparency, collaboration, and community-driven efforts are valued. This move reinforces Nano Foundation's commitment to these principles.
Global Collaboration: Volunteers from around the world can contribute their expertise, time, and energy to the nano ecosystem and protocol which we have seen time and time again. This global collaboration can lead to a more inclusive and comprehensive development process.
Why don’t you approach VC funding?
It should be known that there are no shares nor equity held behind the Nano Foundation, neither Colin nor George have equity or share ownership behind the non commercial entity structures. This was purposeful and was designed to make sure that personal greed and ego had no place behind any decision we made pertaining to the Nano Foundation and the work we do. Nano is for everyone.
This has meant that a VC funding for our work at the Nano Foundation is impossible, we cannot and shall not give away ownership of the Nano Foundation through shares nor equity to companies or individuals in return for funding. For instance, a well known ‘partnership’ potential for us was nothing of the like behind the scenes - it was a bid to buy ⅓ of the Nano Foundation and explore adding fees to the network and make the gains associated with releasing the news a profit for the company in question. We would not let this happen.
Trustable was pegged to be a vehicle to VC funding however as you are aware, Trustable has had a very difficult time when it comes to the regulatory hurdles it faced in this nascent world and despite the technology existing, the scaling of the entities has been put on hold. This took place at the beginning of the year and despite approaching VC funding for Trustable throughout and since then, the FTX fiasco has soured the taste of those we respect in the VC world, wanting to take a risk on us.
Will you increase the maximum supply of nano in circulation?
We will never, ever try to increase the maximum supply of nano to help fund the Nano Foundation, that is not nano. Additionally, we would not be able to. Nano is decentralised, with no single entity able to push through decisions like this.
Nano is the most efficient form of digital currency through grass-root community movement, our work is not a game to walk away the richest through an exit strategy - nano is an open source, decentralised live monetary network that relies upon its founding principles - adding fees or expanding the supply is not the experiment at hand.
Will the Nano Foundation continue to work without private funding?
Simply, yes. We as a team have shown that we can still produce and evolve the nano protocol and help support the community through our socials over the last 8 months while there has been no payment to the team. Vini joined the team at the start of this transition to help initiate building out and opening up the Community Programme and we look forward to sharing this soon.
What will happen to the remaining Ӿ300,000 in the Dev Fund
We do not want to kick-start a countdown so-to-speak of the last Ӿ300,000 which currently equals $188K so you will see the current funds being moved from the publicly available data - these funds have been loaned against over the year as our US bank of Silvergate was shutdown, not allowing us to liquidate with safe compliance and will be used to repay creditors.
It is pertinent to explain that the Bitgrail trial against Firano will begin this October however the Italian Courts are not as speedy as other jurisdictions when it comes to the pace of the trial. The Nano Foundation is deemed a victim of Firano’s crimes and has to produce Expert Witness testimony on the damages Firano caused through reputation and price action. This will cost approximately 15% of the remaining Dev Fund however will allow the Nano Foundation to lay its claim along with other creditors to the bankruptcy funds held by The Court. No part of the remaining Dev Fund has been designated for the trademark suit against Coinbase.
Moving forward in a far more open-source and transparent model, we plan to build a new page on our official website where specific categories can be donated to, if people wish. These categories will include Infrastructure among others while any spend of these public donations will be shared and transparent for all to see, we feel that this will be much more in line with an open-source operating model which is a new model for the NF. The last transaction of the Dev Fund was a donation of Ӿ10 over 2 years ago >
What does this mean for the Nano Foundation’s future?
Moving to a volunteer model was a necessary step to set up the organisation in a way that has longevity along with following the principles of open-source development. We believe that the organisation, with this move, is taking a step forward to being able to perpetually exist governed by a broad community of nano enthusiasts.
Will development continue?
Yes. Since the team moved to a volunteer mode, V24 and V25 have been successfully released and built upon, with V26 moving along nicely. We have open discussions in Github, on discord and in the Community-Devs channel within the Nano Foundation slack, however, we are looking to open up the latter to being more visible by the wider community soon, the first step being having our weekly developer meeting on a Twitter Space for anyone to listen in to live.
The last two releases have propelled our network throughput as seen in the graph below:
Sustained network performance post-saturation is one benchmark for commercial grade and you can see how our local test networks highlighted a reduced confirmation rate with large unconfirmed transaction backlogs. This challenge has been addressed, with the solution making its debut in the next major V26 release.
Not only this, but Gustav our RsNano developer within the team has been porting the nano node into Rust and over the last 8 months has not only added over 830 commits, grown the Rust Codebase by 13,000 lines of code, uploaded 20 hrs of development live streams he has also replaced the C++ async runtime with Rust meaning all network communication is now handled by Rust!
In the realm of integration testing, Bob has taken on the challenge of streamlining the process to spin up local test networks. These networks serve a dual purpose: they facilitate automated test cases and allow developers to run a range of scenarios on their local machines, providing a quick way to validate new ideas aimed at enhancing the network.
To make use of this, all that is required is installing the nanolab Python library. With a single command, users can then launch a range of test cases. Additionally, each time a new pull request or commit is made to the official nano-node repository, a suite of tests run in parallel on GitHub's hosted runners.
For those keen on keeping track, a simple dashboard at https://ct.bnano.info provides insights into which pull requests and commits have successfully passed the tests and which haven't.
The passion & time given to nano development by our team of volunteers is something to be incredibly proud of and has produced remarkable results so far. We look forward to continuing this trajectory.
Will Colin and George continue to work with nano?
Yes, they aren’t going anywhere. They have part-time work through contracting that sustains their livelihoods.
Will nano’s adoption campaign continue without funding?
Nano’s adoption has always been grassroots-driven. The Nano Foundation does not pay for listings nor, like some in the space, spend millions on partnerships that are nothing more than a press release to pump the price. We have never engaged in the dubious practice of “crypto market making” or engaging in sythetic volume to maintain our rankings and believe that the speculative markets will shift to heralding utility first in the future. This does not change with our new model and the focus on building circular economies within emerging economies remains through a vast network of volunteers across the globe including our Ambassadors, CMs and the team itself. You can read about our vision for adoption here >
Will the website and socials under the control of Nano Foundation be kept alive?
Yes. Nothing has changed over the last 8 months while the team has been volunteering and will remain the same moving forward. Educational resources and social media growth will continue to be built upon with the aim of furthering nano’s visibility across the various sectors we exist in. Website development will shift towards adding more information and data pertaining to nano’s open-source development.
What does the push to a more open-source setup look like?
Public Weekly Developer Meetings
On Tuesday, Sep. 26th, we kicked off our public weekly developer meetings. These sessions, presented in the dynamic format of Twitter Spaces, will delve into our current endeavours, challenges, and milestones. Listen to how development decisions are made and the discussions that underpin nano’s protocol evolution >> or read the thorough notes taken by Patrick and posted on reddit here >
Streamlining development inroads
Back in April this year we depreciated the old forum (forum.nano.org) in order to streamline development discussions into one easily accessible place - our Github.
We believe this move has allowed for more active participation and engagement among our users, as well as making it easier to collaborate and share ideas.
With the advent of new sites such as nano.casa which tracks open-source contributions and contributors - it is now even easier to follow along and join in the future development of nano. We are looking to embed this data in the official nano.org website in the very near future while also making a larger focus on open-source development across the official website.
How can I contribute to the nano network?
At the Nano Foundation, we believe there is so much talent, determination and good will in our community and so many valuable contributions that could be made to the network - we made a handy guide for those proficient in C++ which includes the Ten Commandments of the Nano Node. Read in further detail here >
How can I contribute without knowing C++?
Included in this handy guide are seven ways to contribute something new and meaningful to nano node development beyond C++ programming. Although not critical tasks, they are incredibly valuable and are the first step on the pathway that leads to Nano protocol development.
These tasks range from Ledger Formatting to Automatic testing / Continuous integration - there are a plethora of ways to get involved if you are technically-minded but C++ is not your thing. So, if you have the skills and drive to help us realise anything on this list, get in touch via our development Discord.
I’m not technical - how can I contribute to nano’s future?
There are endless possibilities when it comes to how you can support the vision of nano without any technical knowledge, this can range from:
Join the Community Programme and represent your local community or country through being an Ambassador, Community Manager or indeed keeping our social channels a happy and healthy place to have discussions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and join the programme channels on discord.
Are you a student and interested in joining the Nano University Programme? Email email@example.com and start repping at your Uni!
Are you a budding writer and would like to share your work? Contribute to our blog and be published on our official website; whether educational, personal experience or just about nano’s fundamentals - we want to read it & share it! Find out more here >
We have a plethora of social media channels and you can support nano by creating & sharing posts and tweets with your wider circles and online communities. This helps spread the word of nano outside of the bubble we exist in. We have multiple communication channels to partake in discussions online ( r/nanocurrency, Nano Twitter, Nano LinkedIn, Nano Telegram, Nano Discord, Nano GitHub )
Are you an emerging TikTok star? Help us get the nano word out with making videos and sharing the vision of true digital money online!
It is a common misconception that only Nano Foundation can organise listings. As we take a step further onto a more decentralised pathway, it should be known that anyone can reach out to organisations, services, exchanges that they would like to through simply reaching out to them and asking. Exchanges and such want to keep their users happy, and so with enough user support, will add nano. We of course can always provide technical assistance if needed.
Know of a charity that could benefit from accepting nano donations? It is super simple to help set them up and then just let us know so we can share the news far & wide! Read here for simple donation tool instructions > We will also list them on our Nano Hub.
Organise local meetups in your area! This could simply be inviting people to join you at your local cafe or bar and share your ideas. A new handy meetup guide is in the works currently which we look forward to sharing.
We are always in need of translation help to further our global accessibility of information and educational materials - join us here on our Crowdin platform to learn more and dive in!
Prefer to remain in the shadows when it comes to social media? There are many things you can do to help the network such as the simply:
Do you have a special skill that you feel we are missing? Let us know and join us!
The vision of Nano Foundation cementing that we are just one part of the nano ecosystem, not the nano ecosystem itself, is being enacted. And it is happening on a foundation of team members that have been around for the past 8 months without pay alongside a network of ambassadors/moderators/enthusiasts that have never been paid. We do this because we truly believe nano is and will continue to make tangible change in the real world as a global digital currency.
Our journey in the volunteering model has been a testament to our conviction to this as shown in detail above. We wanted to showcase that a dedicated team, even if small, can sustain and thrive in such a model as we have done. Today, we're sharing this because we believe in the power of collective effort. While we can continue our current trajectory, we invite the community's involvement which can exponentially amplify our impact.
We understand this is a big move and will raise all sorts of questions. Our team will monitor our social platforms, collect the questions and we'll write up answers in a follow-up blog post.
Join us in the mission of a truly decentralised global digital currency and let’s do this together.
The Nano Foundation.
Nano Foundation does not endorse or approve products and/or services used or developed by third parties. Any links to third party software or sites are for informational purposes only. Nano Foundation bears no responsibility for the operability, accuracy, legality or content of third party products and/or services. Any questions regarding third party material should be directed to that party.